AgentMarketing

3 ways to market like it’s 1999

Why old school methods still work in real estate
  • Play bus bench Monopoly in nearby neighborhoods to gain face recognition.
  • If you want people to associate you with luxury and service, nix the cliche.
  • Make people feel comfortable and special, and the property will sell itself.

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In a world consumed with new media — including social platforms, mobile news, streaming music services and 24-hour, hyper-specialized TV stations — the ways to market to potential clients have become more and more fragmented and targeted.

Who would have thought something as low-tech as bus benches could be effective in 2016? But they are. And if you’re smart, you can leverage new marketing methods alongside the old tried-and-true ways for even greater impact.

Bench me

I’ve been playing bus bench Monopoly in nearby neighborhoods lately, buying up all of the bench advertising I can get my hands on. With my friendly face smiling out at you as you sit at a red light or stroll through your neighborhood, you can’t help but start to build a rapport with me — or at least my face.

Pair this with the national exposure I gained through regular appearances on cable TV news shows and on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing Miami” as the first and only woman in MDL franchise history, and something as simple as a bus bench became the catalyst for a new client to call me with a million dollar listing, right in my own hometown.

The bench ads reminded him of seeing me on the show and made him realize he could work with me locally. Plus, he already felt like he knew me, so it was easy to quickly form a working relationship.

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Marathon woman

It’s an ongoing joke that my schedule is a little out of control and that I work like a marathon runner, always willing to “go the extra mile” for my clients. But how about advertising with an actual marathon runner?

Mikael Damkier / Shutterstock.com

Mikael Damkier / Shutterstock.com

In cities all over the nation, there are colorful characters that people know and recognize, such as Times Square’s Naked Cowboy or the man who rides around Miami Beach on a bike, nearly naked. These local celebrities have that special something. People know them without necessarily knowing them personally or ever having a conversation with them, and they add to the rich tapestry of a community.

In Fort Lauderdale, we have a man known as the “Coatman.” He’s a marathon runner who runs around town in a business blazer, sometimes holding a tray of drinks or other props.

One day, I approached him to run with one of my signs, and the rest was history. It was even covered in the Sun Sentinel. Apparently, no one had ever thought to tap in to his local celebrity status.

Something as old school as a man carrying around a sign got my business exposure as well as media notoriety. And of course, when friends saw him carrying my face around town, they would snap a pic and post it to social media.

Next level open houses

Never underestimate the power of the ultimate old school method — an open house — to sell a property. I’m a huge believer in holding open houses, but like everything I do, I like to go big.

We’ve all been to cliched events with crappy balloons, which are extremely environmentally unfriendly, I might add, and a cheapie beat up Realtor’s sign that looks like it is left over from the last presidential election or a yard sale.

My suggestion is if you want people to associate you with luxury and personalized service, don’t go with the cliche — take your open houses to the next level, and the best way to do that is to pay attention to detail.

Upgrade to something a little more stable, like a sturdy A-frame sign. Use promoted posts on social media to get people there, not latex balloons that end up hurting wildlife when they inevitably blow away.

See to every detail so their experience is first rate. In Florida, it’s often hot, so I’ve had models greet guests at the door with ice cold bubbly or Perrier. Make people feel comfortable and special, and the property will sell itself.

Although it’s important to stay abreast of the latest in real estate marketing, don’t be afraid to use simple, proven methods to get your name out there. And, take the opportunity to put your own creative touch on those old school techniques!

Sam DeBianchi is Estate Agent and founder of DeBianchi Real Estate. Follow @SamDeBianchi on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook.

Email Sam DeBianchi.